By Zafar Ahmad
From historical point of view the year 2017 will have phenomenal importance, especially for those who have inclinations towards left wing politics. The comrades throughout the world are celebrating the 100th year of the great Red Revolution, 1917. Furthermore, the 2017 also marked the 50th anniversary of the revolutionary icon Comrade Che Guvera whose heroic death has made him the rare case of human immortality. Interestingly, the Pakistan People’s Party too has grown 50.
Since her established on November 30, 1967 by the former Shaheed Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the Pakistan People’s Party has remained the champion of progressive ideas and liberal principle, which made it equally popular among the working class as well as among the educated people and the women. Time proved it the champion of democracy as well.
Right from the time it came to power for the first time, the contributions of the PPP for the country are well evident. From the development of constitution to its restoration to its original form and championing the image of the country, the PPP has always stood higher than the rest of the parties. The release of 93,000 captive soldiers and the return of 5,000 Km squares of occupied land by India were the outcomes which came through the personal efforts of the PPP’s founder, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Moreover, the PPP has remained the single party which has contributed more for the restoration and the smooth evolution of democracy in the country. Be its persecution under the tyrant dictator Zia or the attempts to dismantle the party by the regime of Musharaf, the PPP remained steady to prove that it is not the party which disintegrates during hardships. Contesting elections on a hostile pitch under the supervision of a biased empire makes the morale of the party much higher against those who always have having the support of the hidden yet manifested hands.
The efforts to promote democracy and championing the liberal values made the PPP always on the target of conservative elements costing it the lives of its key leaders. Yet each hardship made it clear that the PPP is a phoenix which will take a rebirth after every attempt to bury it.
However, the tragic loss of the BB in 2007 has echoed a deep dent in the camp of the party. After BB for the first time it has been witnessed the party is deviating from the set principles for which it has been known throughout the five provinces. With the demise of BB the party came under the direct control of Asif Zardari whose reconciliatory policies though enabled the party to complete its tenure in government yet it shrank the party to Sindh. The poor governance of the party under the new leadership cost it huge loss in the election 2013.
Post 2013 under the government of N-League and the rhetoric of the PTI, the country is passing through a new phase where allegation and use of derogatory language has become the major tactic to defame the oppositions. Parallel is the emerging of radical elements in the politics determined to bring back the dark ages under Zia. The N-League having its birth out of the womb of radical dictatorship has failed to tackle with the venom of radicalization while the PTI is being seen as the guardian of such elements. The Imran Khan’s remarks about ‘the bloody liberals’ manifests the ‘Taliban Khan’ in him.
Under such circumstances the PPP and ANP due to their ideologies could have been the hope for the people suffocated from the legitimization of radicalization. Unfortunately, the policies of the said parties and their lack of will have done nothing except thwarting their voters. The outcomes of the by-elections and the preparations in the camps of the PPP only suggest its downfall.
The recent ranks of the PPP suggests how far the party has moved from its ideology and the party values. The genuine leaders like the genius Aitizaz Ahsan and the courageous lady Asma Jahangir have little say in the party while arrogant and ignorant like Faryal Talpur, whose only qualification is she being the sister of Asif Zardar, have been acting like dictators since the traumatic loss of BB. In a viral video Faryal Talpur is seen addressing the voters in the most derogatory language yet no body except Aitizaz Ahsan did condemn her tone.
On the name of martyrs the PPP is in rule in Sindh for almost a decade yet it has only added to the miseries of the people in Sindh. Majority of its voters belong to rural areas and are from the down strata of society, yet the PPP is never been serious to reduce their miseries. The famine in Thar is enough to show how the PPP has failed its voters. Perhaps those in rule think ‘the only rule to rule the poor is keeping them poor’. Unfortunate moment for the poor of Sindh is no other party is able to raise its slogan in Sindh and this makes the failure of the PPP its electoral success.
Celebrating its golden jubilee those in the PPP ranks might boast what the party has achieved in past yet they don’t have much to boast for its last rule and for the recent government in Sindh and won’t have much to boast if they do not revisit their policies.
Perhaps the 21st century is era to witness the downfall of left wing politics. Where the 20th century marked the emergence and popularity of left wing politics which raised the slogan for the poor masses and became the sign of resistance against the brutal elements in society the recent century is witnessing the popularity of right wings. The labour parties in various countries have lost politics with the parallel emergence of right wings. The secular India is on its way towards rightwards shift. In such a condition the Pakistani politics and the Pakistani society which has mostly remained under rightist conservative is reaching yet another milestone- the legitimization of the radical with politicians like Imran Khan taking shelter in them. Perhaps the dilemma of politics is ‘rightists tend to be right by their might and leftists soon cease to be leftist’.
“Rest in peace left wing politics”!
By Zafar Ahmad